Admission Criteria and Application

To be eligible for a master’s program in data science, candidates must either:

  • hold a bachelor’s degree in communication systems or computer science, or
  • hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering or physics, with excellent results: additional admission requirements (bachelor’s courses) might apply, or
  • hold a HES bachelor’s degree in communication systems (from a Swiss University of Applied Sciences) with a grade point average of 5.0: 60 credits of the HES Gateway must be acquired before the admission to the master’s program in data science is effective.

If EPFL bachelor’s students want to pursue a master’s degree in a different field from their bachelor’s program, they need to complete the full online application process. This includes meeting a minimum grade point average of 4.50 over their entire bachelor’s program. In addition to grades, other factors such as the relevance of their bachelor’s program to the desired master’s program, their motivation, and the quality of their application will also be considered during the evaluation process.

To increase their chances of getting admitted, students who want to switch fields for their master’s degree are strongly advised to take the following prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s studies. They can request permission from their section to take these courses either as part of their bachelor’s options or as “Off Plan Subjects”. If they are doing an exchange, they should try to find equivalent courses and submit a request for an equivalency analysis if their application is accepted, which will be evaluated by our faculty

Data science (Prerequisite courses):

  • Algorithms I, 8 cr, spring 
  • Data-Intensive systems, 6 cr, spring 

If students have completed the prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s program, they will not need to catch up on these courses if they are admitted to a master’s program in IC. However, if EPFL bachelor’s students were unable to take the prerequisite courses during their bachelor’s studies, successful admission to a master’s program in IC will require the acquisition of these additional ECTS credits which will not count towards their master’s degree. These additional credits must be acquired during the first year of the master’s program and are non-negotiable, so students must take these courses as a priority.

>> Presentation Master Info Days [PDF] (03.2023)


Additional information

Admission principles

Admission decisions are based on the curriculum of the Bachelor’s program, your grades, the statement of purpose, the reference letters, the academic reputation of your school and other elements.

GPA

Excellent Bachelor-level grades are expected.

Language requirements

The program is taught entirely in English. Therefore, excellent English language skills are required to follow the master’s program in data science. English language certificates (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) are welcome but not compulsory.

Financial support

Financial support is available primarily through the Research Scholars MSc program, which provides financial support from the first days of studies and is open to all students. It gives a student an opportunity to work on research projects in one of the laboratories of our school. Additionally, EPFL awards a small number of Master Excellence Fellowships that provide financial support. Students can also arrange research assistantships paid by the hour in direct communication with the professor of the hosting laboratory; these are part-time during the semester and up to full time during the holidays. Hourly research may commence from the start of studies for Swiss and EU students or after an initial six-month period for all remaining students.

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